THE SIMEKEN DIFFERENCE
The Simeken Story
Jim Sipprelle (Founder)
There’s a lot of waste and we have no place to dump it. The cost of energy is soaring. A decade ago, Jim Sipprelle looked at what was happening in the world, and decided that he wanted to make a difference. After investigating many alternatives, he chose an as-yet-unproven technology called pyrolysis because it promised to solve both of these issues by turning organic waste materials into clean, green energy. After making sure that it was not just some kind of incineration that would, in turn, create more problems with air pollution, he began to pursue it in earnest.
Jim acquired a company that was attempting to build this fledgling technology into a workable solution. However,
he soon realized that the route they were taking would not yield a flexible and economically viable solution. Knowing that it had to pay its own way, he made the tough decision to disband that company and start over from scratch. But by then he knew that it would be a daunting task.
Any real solution needed to handle a wide variety of waste streams such as tires, lumber, oil, biohazard waste, and many others. Sorting is not feasible, and a separate system for each individual type of material would have very limited application.
Any moving parts would create high maintenance costs, particularly with the extremely high temperatures of the order of thousands of degrees involved. How could the material get into the flash chamber without moving parts?
Also, Jim knew that other people trying to build a pyrolysis system had experienced high failure rates because of these issues. Clearly, a real solution would not be some trivial engineering exercise.
Nevertheless, he was determined to move forward. Jim assembled a world-class team and began to work through the issues. It took time, and there some false starts and blind alleys. They persevered. One by one, the issues fell, and good old American ingenuity and solid engineering prevailed.
To eliminate any moving parts, they designed a uniquely shaped Retort Oven to transport the material being pyrolyzed using a combination of precisely engineered heating gas flows, "free fall", and sinusoidal action. This also allowed for a wide variety of waste streams. They developed a tightly integrated pyrolysis-gasification process which solved still other issues that arose.
But they didn't stop there.
They wanted the whole process to be very safe and reliable. For example, any combustion in the flash chamber could be a very bad thing, and any downtime makes a unit less cost-effective.
They also wanted to maximize efficiency and keep the final output well below emission standards. They didn't want to solve one problem and create another in the form of air pollution.
Finally, they wanted the by-products to be as pure as possible, so they could be profitably recycled.
They succeeded on all counts.
The Simeken PRO™
They created the Simeken PRO™- the first viable Pyrolysis Recovery Oven.
They created a means for amplifying the heat transfer by bringing the material being pyrolyzed into direct contact with the hot inert flue gas. By redirecting these gases with the oven's liberated gases, the Simeken PRO™ provides:
A safer process, keeping any potential for combustion extremely low.
An efficient "convection" process combining all gasses for combustion-creating cleaner exhaust emissions.
A purged oxygen oven, creating higher quality by-products for recycling.
Knowing that at last they had a winner, they assembled a test system near Matamoros, Mexico, supported by the Sustainable Cities Institute.
It worked every bit as well as they had anticipated, meeting or exceeding all of their design goals. They had a viable and economically feasible method to turn waste into energy in a clean manner.